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Cleveland police arrest man who confessed to killing woman 20 years ago; remains unearthed

Posted at 5:17 PM, Sep 26, 2018

Last month, a man called Cleveland police and reported that he had killed a prostitute about 20 years ago, according to a police spokesperson. Their investigation led them to Cleveland’s west side, where human remains were found. On Thursday, 64-year-old Michael Thompson was arrested and charged with aggravated murder.

Police say they received a call to respond to Thompson's home on August 20. That's when they say he confessed to killing a prostitute approximately two decades ago. Thompson was interviewed by members of the Cleveland Police Department’s Homicide Unit. Further investigation was conducted, and information led investigators to the Train Avenue and Richner Avenue area, in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood of Cleveland.

On September 24, members of the homicide unit responded to the area for a reported deceased person buried there, police said. A dig was conducted, and human remains were discovered. The dig was conducted with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Evidence Response Team, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office

The remains were taken to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office for investigation and determination on the cause of death. The deceased person has not yet been identified.

Court records show Thompson was charged with pulling a gun, assaulting and kidnapping a woman in November, 1989.  In a letter to the judge in that case, Thompson wrote that the victim was a prostitute and that the two argued over money.  According to the hand-written letter, Thompson admitted, "I lost and hit her on the side of her head, she kept yelling, so I tied her up and put a gag over her mouth so she would shut up."  He wrote that he then drove the victim downtown and dropped her off.

Thompson was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the attack.  While behind bars he wrote the judge that, "Some of this trouble was caused by me, but most of it was caused by this prostitute." He later added, "I am trying very hard not to be bitter inside about all of this. But at times I feel very angry because I know it was not fair that I should end up in prison."

State records show Thompson was paroled after about six months in prison.

Cleveland police have not released a motive for the murder.